San Diego CA— Alyse Saucedo, a rising Junior at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP) in San Diego, has won a total of $22,500 in scholarships and an international title after winning the 4th Annual Optimist Oratorical World Championship, in St. Louis, July 19-20, 2019. Saucedo was among more than 25,000 students from around the world who competed in local and district Optimist Oratorical Contests, before advancing to the World Championship held at Saint Louis University.
More than 60 students from North America, as well as Russia and Pakistan, competed digitally and in person, delivering a four-five-minute speech on the topic, “Is there a fine line between optimism and reality?” Judges scored contestants based on their speech content, poise, and presentation.
“We’re truly in awe of Alyse, who at such a young age, has demonstrated the poise and dedication of someone well advanced in years” said Dr. Lauren Lek, Head of School. “Alyse is a student leader whose determination is fueled by passion and a commitment to excellence. We are blessed to have her here at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace and to support her academic journey.”
Founded in 1882, OLP has remained for 137 years as an epicenter for all girls’ education, ensuring the preparation for the next generation of women leaders and innovators. Inspired by the spirit and tenacity of the founding order, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, students at OLP are challenged to become thought leaders, changemakers, and conscientious citizens aware of the needs of those around them. Over 9,900 alumnae have graduated from OLP. These alumnae are hailed as pioneers in their respective fields around the world.
The recent graduating class of 2019 is an example of the skills garnered, preparing them for the future. In a class of 183 students, 74% of the Class of 2019 received at least one merit-based scholarship. This amounts to more than $24 million in merit-based scholarships. Also, an unprecedented 41% of the class plan to pursue STEM majors in college (compared with the national co-educational average of 16%).
Optimist International President Rebecca Butler Mona said “The competitors in our Oratorical World Championships are developing skills that will serve them well as leaders in business, politics, the arts, and numerous other fields. These young people exhibit the hope and positive vision that lies at the core of our mission as Optimists, and that’s why this program has endured for more than 90 years.”
The Optimist Oratorical Contest is the longest-running program of Optimist International, dating to 1928, and involving more than 25,000 students around the world annually. In 2016, the competition was expanded to the World level.